SpokenWord open mic every Monday. AWOL writers’ workshop every Sunday.

This info last updated April 7th 2019. 

SpokenWord Paris is one pole of a nomadic tribe of people who love poetry, writing and song. A home for creatives and lost anglophones. We do an open mic night called SpokenWord every Monday at the Chat Noir and an allied writers’ workshop at Berkeley Books of Paris (every Sunday.) We do a literary journal called The Bastille and Tightrope Books published many of us in the book “Strangers in Paris.” Click on the blue stamp on the right to sign up to the mailing list.

Open mic/scène ouverte: Performance poetry. Lire vivant. Poésie sonore. Stand up. Monologue. Stories. Beat poetry. Spoken word. English. Français. Your own original texts. Old texts from Rimbaud to Dr Seuss, Beowulf to Gil Scott-Heron. Chacun a son mot à dire. Make the words come alive…………………….. Acoustic songs also welcome.

SpokenWord Sounds
A taste of Monday nights at the Chat Noir, by Victor. Listen or download here.

Every Monday except August. Come to the Chat Noir, 76 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud 75011. Métro Parmentier/Couronnes. Sign up 8pm to 9.30pm in the bar. Poetics start from 8.30pm underground. Check out the Practical info page for more info. Paris’ biggest and longest-running English open mic night, started in 2006. All languages welcome. Free entry. Exit one euro.

Check next week’s theme here

AWOL Writers’ Group
Sunday evenings, usually 6.30pm – 8.30pm at Berkeley Books. Time sometimes varies so check here. Free. Bring your writing or just come and listen join the discussion. Hosted by Bruce Sherfield, Simon Millward and Thibaut Narme. Description. Join us afterwards for a drink.

Chat Noir sketch drawn by Allison Iwata.

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Erin Byrne to Guest at SpokenWord April 22nd–Monday’s Theme: Illuminations

spoken word nov 2015Erin Byrne is the author of Wings: Gifts of Art, Life, and Travel in France, editor of Vignettes & Postcards from Paris and Vignettes & Postcards from Morocco, and writer of The Storykeeper  film.  Erin’s travel essays, poetry, fiction and screenplays have won awards including Grand Prize Solas Awards for Travel Story of the Year, the  Foreword Indies Book of the Year, an Accolade Award for film, and the Pinnacle Achievement Award.  She has taught writing at Shakespeare and Company Bookstore in Paris, at Book Passage Bookstore, and on Deep Travel trips, and is host of the LitWings event series at Book Passage and in Paris which features writers, photographers, and filmmakers. Erin is Collaborating Curator in Travel Writing and Photography for The Creative Process Exhibition, which was launched at the Sorbonne and travels to the world’s leading universities.  She is on the board of advisors of LitCamp, a juried writers’ conference held annually at Esalen Institute, Big Sur.  Her screenplay, Siesta, is in pre-production in Spain, and she is working on a novel set in the Paris Ritz during the occupation, Illuminations.   www.e-byrne.com.

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Steve Dalachinsky to guest at SpokenWord Paris April 15th–Monday’s Theme: Ecology

56306757_582135692286489_855491617744748544_nPoet/collagist STEVE DALACHINSKY was born in Brooklyn in1946. His book “The Final Nite” (Ugly Duckling Presse – 2006) won the PEN Oakland National Book Award. His latest cds are “The Fallout of Dreams” with Dave Liebman and Richie Beirach (Roguart 2014), “ec(H)o-system” with the French art-rock group, the Snobs (Bambalam 2015) and “Pretty in the Morning with the Snobs” (Bisou Records – 2019). He is a 2014 recipient of a Chevalier D’ le Ordre des Artes et Lettres. His recent books include “The Invisible Ray” (Overpass Press – 2016) with artwork by Shalom Neuman, “Frozen Heatwave”, a collaboration with Yuko Otomo (Luna Bissonte Prods 2017) and Black Magic (New Feral Press 2017) and The Chicken Whisperer (Positive Manets – 2018). His newest book “where night and day become one – the french poems” (great weather for MEDIA 2018) received a 2019 IBPA award in poetry.

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A reading from Baldwin’s ‘Little Man, Little Man’ by Tejan Karefa and Aisha Karefa-Smart

A double feature this Monday at SpokenWord. As well as the great spoken word poet Bonafide Rojas, we are happy to welcome James Baldwin’s niece and nephew to SpokenWord on 8th April, where they will read from Baldwin’s ‘Little Man, Little Man’, written by Baldwin for Tejan when he was little. A big thanks to Camille Rich of The Link for arranging this!

Here’s some words about the book from Baldwin himself.

Tejan Karefa is a writer, photographer and media artist living and working in Paris since 2008, while making jumps from Washington D.C. He has captured street images in D.C., Paris, New York City, Bahia, Brazil and Southern Morocco. Some of these photos appeared in his debut photo exhibit entitled ‘Frontieres’. Tejan has traversed the Paris HIPHOP and Jazz performance scene as a guest vocalist with Paris-based artists and bands including David Linx, Ben L’Oncle Soul, Panam Panic, JDQ (Julien Daian Quintet) and the Urban Groove Unit. Tejan’s foreword opens the newly re-released ‘Little Man, Little Man’ by James Baldwin, originally published in 1977. He has participated on panel discussions and readings in New York and Paris to give voice to the “book of code” he cherished as a childhood gift from ‘Uncle Jimmy’.

Aisha Karefa-Smart is an author, educator and public speaker. Her childhood home in New York City was a congregation space for African-American writers, artists and musicians. Her uncle, the late James Baldwin, often returned home from the South of France to New York where he hosted all night “jam sessions” with literary greats such as Amiri Baraka, Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison. Influenced by her exposure to such artistic, and cultural, and political discourse, she chose to study and perform as a member of Dr. Glory Van Scott’s Children’s Theater, The Harlem Theater Company and The Falcons Dance Troupe in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Aisha has presented and facilitated panel discussions examining the work of her late uncle and his re-emergence into the nation’s political and racial discourse.

Thanks to The Red Wheelbarrow bookshop who are bringing copies of ‘Little Man, Little Man’ to sell at the event.

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Bonafide Rojas to Guest at SpokenWord Paris April 8th–Monday’s Theme: Mourning


BWRojasBonafide Rojas is the author of four collections of poetry: Notes On The Return To The Island (2017), Renovatio (2014), When The City Sleeps (2012) & Pelo Bueno (2004). He’s appeared on Def Poetry Jam & has been published in numerous anthologies & journals. He’s in the band The Mona Passage & has performed at: Lincoln Center, The Brooklyn Museum, El Museo Del Barrio, Bowery Ballroom, The Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, Rotterdam Arts Center, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Latinale Berlin, Festival Kerouac Vigo & Festival De La Palabra. He currently lives in New York City.

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Chris Ames to guest at SpokenWord on 1st April, theme FOOL

Chris Ames has lived in France for 27 years, but the past 10 have been a second youth due to divorce, homelessness, and travel to the four corners of the earth. He has published six books of short stories and poetry, in Japan, Poland and France, and in 2017 won a nonfiction prize in America for “An American (homeless) in Paris,” which is available online. This month will see publication of a bilingual book of prose-poetry entitled “Exile: The Pleasure is Ours” concerning his travels in Russia, and on May 7th will be the guest author at the American Library in Paris, to talk about his book on homelessness and its unforeseen benefits. Please welcome Chris back to Paris. He is arriving April 1st from winter in Myanmar.

SpokenWord theme – FOOL (as in noun or verb)

Upcoming themes in April
Apr 8th — Mourning
Apr 15th — Ecology
Apr 22nd — Illuminations
Apr 29th — Exit

Cheers all,
David Barnes

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Robert Isaf to guest at SpokenWord Monday 25th March

Robert Isaf is an award-winning poet and journalist from Atlanta. He has performed across Europe and the United States, and has recently relocated to East Germany, where he is working with the medieval Aramaic poetry of Gregory Barhebraeus and on a collection of essays concerning identity and memory off the beaten path. This is his first time performing in Paris.

SpokenWord theme: WISDOM

Cheers all,
David Barnes

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Dylan Harris to Guest at SpokenWord Paris March 18th–Monday’s Theme: Ireland

picture-5Dylan Harris, https://dylanharris.org/, is Luxembourgish. He was born in blighty before Sputnik first flew. His recent poetry collection is big town blues (published by the UK’s Knives Forks and Spoons Press), which unites Dublin & Paris in one book. His profession involves swearing at computers

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Rufo Quintavalle to Guest at SpokenWord Paris March 11th–Monday’s Theme: Seeing Things

9_DSC8360Rufo Quintavalle was born in London in 1978, studied at Oxford and the University of Iowa and has lived in Paris for the last fifteen years.  He is the author of eight books of poetry, the most recent of which, hhereenow, is published by corrupt press in Luxembourg.  A new and selected poems will be published by Ravenna Press in Washington State later this year.  He has taught creative writing at NYU Paris and for many years ran the reading series, Poets Live.  He is also an environmentalist and is involved in a large scale reforestation project in the Brazilian Amazon.  Poems are on YouTube (Rufo Q) or Facebook (@rufoparis).  Trees are here: http://www.art2030.org/projects/planet-art

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Jamika Ajalon to Guest at SpokenWord Paris March 4th–Monday’s Theme: Time Travel

IMG_3271Jamika Ajalon is a prolific author and inter-disciplinary artist who works with different mediums independently, but also in  multiple  fusions- incorporating written and spoken text, sound/music, and visuals.   Her poems, stories and essays have been published in various digital and hard copy publications internationally.  She  currently writes a regular column for Itchy Silk magazine “queer plume: the fugitive diaries”,  guest lecturer , (including Vienna Arts Academy, and American University of Paris), vocalist, writer musician, (Zenzile/Jamika & the Argonauts).  She has performed her audio visual anti lectures / sonic slam and exhibited across the globe (including Rennes Biennale of contemporary art,(2018), DISTURBANCE expo Kunsthalle Leipzig,(2017), Beton Salon, Paris (2017).  She has a BA Film/Video, MA Communications in Culture and Society, Goldsmiths University, London.

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Nick Calderbank and Florent Simon to perform Harold Pinter’s Victoria Station Feb 25th

LTB_4862We are glad to announce that Nick Calderbank and Florent Simon will perform Harold Pinter’s 2-man play Victoria Station this coming Monday 25th Feb at SpokenWord.

Nick Calderbank is the founder of the On Stage theatre company and New Open Space producing plays in English in Paris by Pinter, Shakespeare, Mamet and Ayckbourn. In recent times he has been concentrating on writing and performing his own material

florent 051118 008brFlorent Simon trained at  the Cours Jean-Laurent Cochet in Paris and Estudio 3 in Madrid. He directed and acted in various university productions while studying in London and is now back in Paris, ready to make the most of his time here. Currently he is exploring new theatrical forms and experiences.

SpokenWord theme: STATIONS

Cheers all,

David Barnes & Antonia Klimenko

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